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2014-01-22 at 14:15

Ex smoker buys car with money saved from butting out

By Jamie Smith,
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Every time Gary Ferguson thinks about smoking, he remembers how much he's gained since quitting.

Ferguson, a project consultant at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, was a heavy smoker. He'd smoke three packs a day sometimes.

"I enjoyed the first cigarette of the day and I hated the last cigarette of the day," he said.

But it wasn't until six years ago when his then five-year-old son was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes that he decided to quit cold turkey.

"I came to the conclusion that he needed me more than I needed cigarettes," Ferguson said.

It wasn't easy. But with a lot of support from his wife, who used to leave notes in his cigarette packs saying "Don't smoke, I love you" days without a smoke turned into weeks and months.

In the first year the Fergusons were able to buy a car with the money he'd saved by quitting. And then a few years later, he bought a motorcycle that they now take tour the country in, all thanks to his decision.

"I've gained so much," he said. "That's what I strive on is what I've actually achieved."

Ferguson's success story was highlighted a the hospital's Weedless Wednesday, an initiative that brings anti-smoking groups to the hospital cafeteria to highlight the supports out there for people who want to quit.

"Really anyone who is a smoker or who's trying to quit," preventative health services manager Kelly-Jo Gillis said.

While the event isn't new, it means a little more this year as the hospital continues to ramp up its effort to enforce its no-smoking policy on the property. This offers support to those people heading out into the cold to light up.

"It's even more important," she said.

Btu the campaign is also about getting people in the region in general to butt out. Northwestern Ontario's 26 per cent is way above the 16 per cent provincial average for smokers.

"We're really trying to work on that," she said.



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twistandshout says:
Good for you and your family as well. I too was a smoker for many years, quit 8 years ago.
Never felt better or had more cash in my pocket.
1/22/2014 3:28:04 PM
Kam River says:
Weedless Wednesday:
Ever notice how all these anti tobacco groups are silent when people like mayor Hobbs and Justin Trudeau promote4 legalizing marijuana "weed"

I guess the hospital, the Cancer Society, the Thunder Bay Health Unit are waiting for marijuana to become legal so they can get funding to talk about how bad it is for our health.
Those groups are only interested in our health if they get funding to talk about it.
1/22/2014 6:20:11 PM
damanisback says:
way to find the negative in every thing "kam river"
1/22/2014 9:00:04 PM
NewAgeOutlaw says:
Sadly enough those who quit still run a big risk of being diagnosed with___. Have fun now because you never know what the near future will bring
1/23/2014 8:51:08 AM
JYDOG says:
On a scale of 1-to-100 on the bad scale, weed is a 3, and cigarettes are about 987, so even if someone was paid to talk about how bad it is for you, they'd just sound as kooky as you do Kam, and no-one would listen.
1/24/2014 12:46:11 AM
Dockboy says:
NewAgeOutlaw, if everyone thought like you nobody would quit smoking. Your " have fun now " remark applies to all human beings, not just ex-smokers. Oh, by the way, people who have never smoked get diseases too.
1/24/2014 12:08:02 PM
MamaH says:
Congratulations to Gary for keeping the quit! I am 6 years smoke free too. Couldn't have done it without the help of Smokers Helpline Online . I like to think of it as a place to obtain 'anonymous group therapy' where everyone helps everyone get through the quit. My best piece of advice: DRINK WATER! Have a bottle of water with you wherever you go and drink from it as soon as a craving hits. Fill it up, keep it full, drink at the onset of a craving, keep it within arms reach always. My motto, life mantra, vision statement if you will: If I have just one, I'll be right back where I started. Where I started, was desperately wishing I was where I am today. You can do it too! Not one puff ever... :)
1/24/2014 2:50:35 PM
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